Houston Ship Channel News

24 May 2019

U.S. LPG Gas Exports Up in Q1

Image: Dorian LPG

North American liquefied petroleum gas  (LPG) export capacity is forecast to grow considerably over the next two years, said Dorian LPG.According to the LPG shipping company, bolstered by additional volumes out of Marcus Hook in the northeast U.S. due to the startup of the Mariner East 2 pipeline, U.S. exports reached their highest levels for the first calendar quarter of 2019 in January with over 3 million metric tons of LPG exported during the month.However, significant reductions in U.S.

19 May 2019

VLGC Freight Rates Recover

Pic: BW LPG

The Very Large Gas Carrier (VLGC) freight rates started to recover towards the end of the first quarter as U.S. consumption reverted to seasonally lower levels pushing U.S. LPG prices down, widening the geographical LPG price arbitrage between the U.S. and the Far East.According to BW LPG, the owner and operator of liquid petroleum gas (LPG) vessels,  the recovery in VLGC freight rates was further strengthened by two occasions of fog and a temporary closure of the Houston Ship…

15 May 2019

Houston Ship Channel Reopens to Two-Way Traffic

The Houston Ship Channel reopened on Wednesday to two-way traffic after salvage crews removed two gasoline barges damaged in a weekend collision with a deep-draft vessel, officials said.About 11,280 barrels of gasoline spilled into the channel near Bayport, Texas, after a 755-foot (230-metre) tanker collided over the weekend with a Kirby Inland Marine tugboat towing two barges containing the fuel.The removal of the Kirby Corp-operated barges was completed by midday on Wednesday and two-way traffic resumed, according to Bayport Channel Collision Response, a group overseeing cleanup and salvage operations.Officials decided on Wednesday to tow away a capsized barge instead of draining its tanks of fuel, speeding up the reopening by at least two days.A U.S.

15 May 2019

Houston Ship Channel Could Reopen Wednesday

Salvage crews on Wednesday began removing two gasoline barges damaged in a weekend collision with a deep-draft vessel that restricted traffic in the Houston Ship Channel, officials said.The removal of the Kirby Corp-operated barges could be completed by midday Wednesday, according to the Bayport Channel Collision Response, a group overseeing cleanup and salvage operations. (Reporting by Collin Eaton; Editing by Bernadette Baum)

14 May 2019

Houston Ship Channel Bottleneck Finally Eases

AdobeStock / © Irina K

A bottleneck of inbound traffic on the Houston Ship Channel eased on Tuesday though one-way travel restrictions remained following a weekend collision between a deep-draft ship and a barge, officials said on Tuesday.About 9,000 barrels of gasoline spilled into the channel near Bayport, Texas, when a 755-foot (230-meter) tanker collided over the weekend with a Kirby Inland Marine tugboat towing two barges containing the fuel.West Texas Intermediate crude at the Magellan East Houston (MEH) terminal on the ship channel traded at an $8.10 a barrel premium to U.S.

14 May 2019

Houston Port Restrictions Could Last All Week

A file image of a typical Kirby pushboat and barge. CREDIT: Kirby Corporation

The Houston Ship Channel could remain under one-way travel restrictions all week following a collision between a deep-draft ship and a barge that spilled petrochemicals into the waterway, according to an official.About 9,000 barrels of gasoline spilled into the channel near Bayport, Texas, when a 755-foot (230-m) tanker collided with a Kirby Inland Marine tugboat towing two barges containing the fuel. One barge ruptured and the other capsized.The U.S. Coast Guard limited travel to one-way traffic because barges blocked part of the channel.

13 May 2019

USCG: Houston Ship Channel Moving Inbound Only

An aerial image of the houston Ship Channel and adjacent refining complex (AdobeStock / ©  Irina K

Shipping along the Houston Ship Channel was limited to one-way traffic on Monday after a barge collided with a deep-draft ship that spilled petrochemicals into the waterway over the weekend, officials said.About 9,000 barrels of gasoline spilled into the channel near Bayport, Texas, when a 755-foot (230-m) tanker collided with a Kirby Inland Marine tugboat towing two barges containing the fuel. One barge ruptured and the other capsized. The one-way traffic limitation is due to the barges blocking part of the channel.

13 May 2019

Ships now moving inbound on Houston Ship Channel

Ships are moving inbound on Monday morning along the Houston Ship Channel after a Friday collision between a barge and deep-draft ship that spilled petrochemicals into the waterway closed ship traffic in both directions, the U.S. Coast Guard said.The Coast Guard did not have immediately available the number of vessels waiting to enter and exit the Channel on Monday morning. Ships started moving outbound on Sunday. Barges along the channel can move into both directions, the Coast Guard said.One barge was severely damaged and another capsized following a collision with a 755-foot (230-m) tanker in the Ship Channel near Bayport, Texas, that spilled at least 9…

02 May 2019

Kirby Posts 2019 Q1 Results

David Grzebinski, Kirby’s President and Chief Executive Officer

Kirby Corporation announced net earnings attributable to Kirby for the first quarter ended March 31, 2019 of $44.3 million, or $0.74 per share, compared with earnings of $32.5 million, or $0.54 per share, for the 2018 first quarter. Excluding certain one-time charges, 2018 first quarter net earnings attributable to Kirby were $37.9 million, or $0.63 per share. Consolidated revenues for the 2019 first quarter were $744.6 million compared with $741.7 million reported for the 2018 first quarter.David Grzebinski…

15 Apr 2019

Houston Widens Ship Channel

Image: Port of Houston Authority

The Port Commission of the Port of Houston Authority has decided to accelerate widening of the Houston Ship Channel, the nation’s busiest waterway.The Port Authority is working with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) and other representatives of the federal government, as well as Port of Houston and Houston Ship Channel stakeholders, to obtain authorization and accelerated funding and completion, of a deepened and widened ship channel.“The Houston Ship Channel is open for business for all and will continue to be…

28 Mar 2019

Tanker Bottleneck Eases for Port of Houston

The sprawling Houston area refining complex adjacent to the Houston Ship Channel. CREDIT: AdobeStock / © Irina K)

Four tankers on Thursday were preparing to offload or pick up cargoes in the busiest U.S. oil port, the first signs of an easing of the bottleneck that cut 1 million barrels per day of shipments, according to vessel tracking data.The Houston Ship Channel reopened this week with operating restrictions following a fire at Mitsui & Co Inc's Intercontinental Terminals Co (ITC) in Deer Park, Texas. That blaze sent fuel and chemicals into the waterway, which connects Houston to the…

28 Mar 2019

Trafigura Sends More Asian Gasoline to Americas

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock / © Jose Gill)

Commodity trader Trafigura is shipping this month a second newly built crude tanker with Asian gasoline onboard to South America amid strong demand in the West, four industry sources who closely monitor petrol trade flows said on Thursday.Although it is not uncommon for traders to use a brand new crude tanker of 150,000 deadweight tonnage (dwt) to ship clean fuels such as diesel, it is rare to use them for gasoline because of the sheer size."South America likely needs gasoline more than gasoil now.

26 Mar 2019

USCG: Limited Opening of San Jac River Announced

The port of Houston Refining complex (CREDIT: AdobeStock / © Irina K

The USCG Captain of the Port has updated vessel traffic coordination directives. Facility cargo operations as of March 25, 2019 include Limited Opening of the San Jacinto River during Daylight Hours and Resumption of Cargo Operations.This MSIB is issued in regard to vessel traffic and facility cargo operations as a result of the chemical fire at ITC Deer Park in the Upper Houston Ship Channel (HSC).As of March 25th, 2019, the U.S. Coast Guard Captain of the Port (COTP) has opened the San Jacinto River to allow for vessel traffic during daylight hours only.

25 Mar 2019

TX Refineries Cut Output as Spill Curbs Shipping

Royal Dutch Shell Plc and LyondellBasell Industries cut production on Monday at their Houston-area oil refineries because of shipping disruptions along a waterway affected by a petrochemical fire and spill, according to people familiar with the matter.A fire and fuel leak at Mitsui & Co Inc's Intercontinental Terminals Co (ITC) storage facility in Deer Park, Texas, last week sent gasoline, water and fire suppressant foam into the Houston Ship Channel, which connects Houston to the Gulf of Mexico, and is home to nine oil refineries.The U.S. Coast Guard said it was reopening portions of the channel to daytime travel and requiring vessels moving out of the area nearest ITC to be inspected for chemical contaminates.Houston Pilots…

25 Mar 2019

Houston Ship Channel Reopened

The Houston Ship Channel and Refining complex (CREDIT: AdobeStock / © Irina K

The U.S. Coast Guard on Monday reopened portions of the Houston Ship Channel with restrictions on waterways affected by the petrochemical leak outside Houston that has disrupted ship traffic.The busiest U.S. oil port, shut last Friday after a chemical leak into the water, led Royal Dutch Shell Plc and LyondellBasell Industries to cut production on Monday, according to people familiar with their operations.In a midday announcement, the Coast Guard said it is allowing daytime transits only through the ship channel…

25 Mar 2019

Petrochemical Disaster Causing Houston Shipping Bottleneck

The backlog of vessels waiting to traverse through the Houston Ship Channel grew on Monday while it remained closed to traffic for a third day as emergency workers attempted to clear a petrochemical spill from the Intercontinental Terminals Co (ITC) storage facility in Deer Park, the U.S. Coast Guard said on Monday.Thirty-one vessels waited to enter the Houston Ship Channel on Monday, while another 31 waited to leave, up from 26, respectively, on Sunday morning. The seven-mile section of the Houston Ship Channel from Light 116 to Tucker's Bayou remained closed, said Coast Guard Vessel Tracking Service Watch Supervisor Ashley Dumont. (Reuters,Reporting by Collin Eaton in Houston Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)

20 Mar 2019

ITC: Houston Petrochemical Blaze Extinguished

File Image: the Houston petrochechemical refining complex (CREDIT: AdobeStock / © Irina K)

Firefighters on Wednesday extinguished a fire at a Mitsui & Co petrochemical storage site outside Houston that has been billowing acrid smoke for days, the company said.The blaze at Mitsui unit Intercontinental Terminals Co in Deer Park, Texas, was put out by 3 a.m., but fire crews continued to spray foam and water on the tanks to help keep them cool and prevent the fires from starting again, the company said in a statement.No serious injuries were reported, it said. Fire officials…

19 Mar 2019

Air Quality Monitored as TX Tank Blaze Rages

File Image: an aerial view of the port of Houston petrochemical refining complex. CREDIT: AdobeStock / © Irina K

Houston officials and environmental groups raced to expand air monitoring on Tuesday after a raging fire at a Mitsui & Co petrochemical storage site produced billowing acrid smoke that could be seen and smelled miles away.The blaze at Mitsui unit Intercontinental Terminals Co in Deer Park, Texas, burned for a third day after firefighting water pumps broke down for six hours on Monday evening, the company said.The fire began on Sunday when a leaking tank containing volatile naphtha ignited and flames quickly spread to nearby tanks…

18 Mar 2019

Houston Terminal Fire May Last Two More days

File Image: AdobeStock / © Irina K

A massive fire at a fuels storage company along the Houston Ship Channel may burn for two more days, an official said on Monday as the blaze spread a plume of black smoke across the city, shutting schools in two nearby communities.The fire began Sunday morning in a giant storage tank containing naphtha, a volatile substance used to create octane-boosting components of gasoline.No injuries were reported from the fire but nearby residents were encouraged to remain indoors. The entire city of Deer Park, Texas, a Houston suburb, was told to shelter in doors all day Sunday.

18 Mar 2019

Houston Tank Fire Spreads to More Tanks

File Image: The port of HoustonRefining complex (CREDIT: AdobeStock / © Irina K)

A storage tank fire on the Houston Ship Channel on Sunday has spread to seven petrochemical storage tanks, forcing residents in the suburb of Deer Park, Texas, to stay indoors on Monday, but no evacuations or injuries were reported.The fire, which sent a plume of black smoke across the city's eastern half and was visible from 10 miles (16 km) away , began in a giant storage tank containing naphtha, a volatile component of gasoline, at about 10:30 a.m. (1530 GMT) on Sunday.By evening…

19 Oct 2018

Houston Pilots Withdraw Tariff Adjustment Application

© Oleksii Fadieiev / Adobe Stock

In an unexpected reversal, it has been reported that the Houston Pilots yesterday notified Chairman Janiece Longoria of the Port of Houston Authority that they had withdrawn their latest application for a change in pilotage rates. Beyond this, the pilots requested in their letter dated October 18 that the application be removed from the agenda for the upcoming October 30 Board of Commissioners meeting.Upon being notified of the rate change application in September, no less than 15 shipping companies…

09 Oct 2018

Chevron Eyes Houston Ship Channel for 2nd US Gulf Refinery

(File photo: Port of Houston)

Chevron Corp wants to build or buy a refinery along the U.S. Gulf Coast to process crude oil from its rapidly growing Permian Basin operations, a senior executive said on Tuesday.The company would like to have refining operations on the Houston Ship Channel, in the western part of the U.S. Gulf, to complement an existing eastern Gulf refinery in Mississippi that makes lubricants and other materials, Pierre Breber, Chevron's head of downstream and chemicals, said."Something on the ship channel side could make a lot of sense for our company…

27 Sep 2018

Proposed Rate Hikes for Houston Ship Pilots Under Fire

The Houston industrial refining complex (File Image: CREDIT AdobeStock / © Irina K)

No less than 15 shipping companies, many of them top 10 liner companies, have written to Port of Houston Chairman Janice Longoria to reject the latest call for substantial rate hikes on the Houston Ship Channel. Local pilots already earn salaries that approach $500,000 annually.Like any other major U.S. port, registered foreign flag vessels must use a local state pilot on the Houston Ship Channel. According to local shipping stakeholders, the rates for those mandated services have spiraled more than 50% in the past 14 years alone.The rate increase proposal…

Maritime Reporter Magazine Cover Jun 2019 - 80th Anniversary World Yearbook

Maritime Reporter and Engineering News’ first edition was published in New York City in 1883 and became our flagship publication in 1939. It is the world’s largest audited circulation magazine serving the global maritime industry, delivering more insightful editorial and news to more industry decision makers than any other source.

Subscribe
Maritime Reporter E-News subscription

Maritime Reporter E-News is the subsea industry's largest circulation and most authoritative ENews Service, delivered to your Email three times per week

Subscribe for Maritime Reporter E-News